It’s that time of year when we pull out our Halloween decorations. I completed this needlepoint of a little Dracula fellow earlier this year and thought I’d better get busy and turn him into a pillow before time got away from me. I had difficulty finding fabrics in the colors I wanted as most fabric in a Halloween motif were the typical orange and black. They really clashed with Dracula’s red cape. I opted for this black and red print and brought in the little bit of purple to pull it all together. I love the black and white check of the main pillow; it reminds me of men’s suiting which works with the customary polished look of Dracula. The over-all work of this piece is the sleeve that wraps around a plain pillow. This concept works great for any small needlepoint project by layering other fabrics and trims, framing the creative piece of needlework. It’s a fun way to give attention and purpose to a small needlepoint piece. You can add many layers or just a few.
I took lots of pictures and have added my tips to follow along.
- A small needlepoint piece, blocked and pressed
- fabric to complement design and colors
- ready-made or self-made piping
- pillow form in desired size, with corresponding color or print
Make sure your needlepoint project is straight and even. Press and stretch if necessary. Lay piping, right side facing in and stitch all around, using a zipper foot, pushing against the edge and clipping at corners and turns.
As you come back to the start of the piping, cut the end, leaving about 1/2” extra. Unstitch the piping seam(on the piping itself) and trim out the inner cording to make it even with the other end. Fold the piping edge under and lap it over your beginning, catching all edges. Carefully hold down both ends and stitch across.
Trim away the canvas and press. Using your fingers press and roll the piping and canvas until everything is neat and tidy.Now this little Dracula is ready to mount onto the sleeve fabric or you can continue to layer other piping or trims.
I decided to add this dark background for contrast. I like the way the red trim looks against it. I cut it just a bit bigger than Dracula and turned under the edges. Pin and stitch in the well (right where the needlepoint and piping meet). For even more layering I added the purple piping, applying it the same as the red; laid facing in, stitching with zipper foot and clipping corners.
Set your needlepoint piece aside and make the sleeve. I lined the sleeve fabric with a simple lightweight fabric. It won’t show but I thought it gave a nicer finished look. I chose to include black piping so layered it between both fabrics, stitching with the zipper foot . Stitch each side separately, leaving ends unstitched.
When finished you’ll have a long tube. Turn right side out and press.
Now just center your featured piece on the long length of sleeve and stitch into place. Wrap your finished sleeve around your pillow of choice and pull tight. Pin then stitch ends together.